All You Need to Know About Low Testosterone
The male sex hormone, commonly known as testosterone, is made in the testicles to help the body with sexuality growth, maturity, reproduction and metabolism functions.
Simply put, this essential hormone helps with male physical qualities including sexual libido, muscle body mass, and facial hair, deepening of the voice, as well as a competitive personality. What’s more, it is responsible for the production of sperms, maintaining optimal levels of red blood cells, bone growth, sexual function and a sense of well-being.
- Testosterone production tends to decline as you age.
According to the Association of American Urology, nearly two out of ten males who are sixty years and above suffer from low testosterone levels. Testosterone level is believed to be at the highest between the ages of 20 and 30. Thereafter, with time, the levels will begin to decline gradually.
- Male menopause (andropause) refers to reduction of testosterone levels as you get older.
In females, a similar hormonal change is referred to as menopause. On most occasions, andropause occurs during the fourth and fifth decades of life. However, it can also happen during the third decade of life in some individuals.
- Testosterone deficiency is a common health problem in Singapore.
It is estimated that about 1 in 4 Singaporean men aged 45 and above suffer from some form of testosterone deficiency.
- Low testosterone levels can also be caused by other diseases.
This includes primary hypogonadism (disease of the testes) and brain diseases, typically the hypothalamus or pituitary (secondary hypogonadism). Though very rare, it can also be a hereditary condition, or body’s incapacity to respond to testosterone. Testosterone deficiency syndrome is a medical term that describes males suffering from reduced levels of testosterone brought about by an underlying health condition.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from low testosterone levels:
- Low sex drive or low libido
- Reduction in muscle mass
- Behavioral changes such as mood swings
- Body and facial hair loss
- Being unable to concentrate
- Feeling general weakness
- Ejaculation-related problems
- Erectile dysfunction
- Gynecomastia (breasts)
- Reduction in bone strength
- Depression and unexplained loss of motivation
I have these symptoms. Does that mean that I have low testosterone?
It is imperative to note that having the above symptoms doesn’t necessarily imply that you have low testosterone. These symptoms can also be shown by other health conditions, including:
- Infections such as HIV
- Obesity and heart diseases
- Kidney and liver diseases
- Consumption of excess alcohol
How do I find out if I have low testosterone?
The most appropriate and accurate way to detect the condition is to have your doctor examine and determine the amount of testosterone in your system. Bearing in mind that testosterone levels changes occasionally, numerous measurements will have to be taken to successfully ascertain a deficiency.
Your doctor will most probably test these levels in the morning because this is when testosterone levels are thought to be at the highest.
Should I worry about my decreasing testosterone levels?
Studies show that there is a possible link between low testosterone levels and death as well as cardiovascular risk. However, it remains to be confirmed further if indeed low testosterone increases cardiovascular risk or death.
What’s more, some studies also suggest that there is a risk of high-grade prostate cancer in males having low testosterone levels. Besides, low testosterone levels are associated with diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and being overweight.
What should I do if I have low testosterone?
Low testosterone should be handled holistically, and in a manner that also manages concurrent sicknesses.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle that equally incorporates routine exercise and losing body fat to achieve a healthy bodyweight.
Stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption. Research has also proven that reducing the amount of body fat through regular workouts and practicing a healthy diet can potentially boost the amount of testosterone in your system.
Depending on your situation, our healthcare professionals will determine whether testosterone replacement therapy can be a great option or not.
What are the potential benefits of testosterone replacement?
Testosterone replacement hormone guarantees the same benefits as testosterone, including enhancing your sexual drive, body muscle mass, allowing you to have a fulfilling sexual life. It will also boost your overall well-being.
What are the treatment options for testosterone replacement?
There are various options of testosterone replacement that we offer, including:
What is the testosterone hormone?
Testosterone refers to the hormone that gives men their male characteristics. Produced by the testicles, testosterone is responsible for several male characteristics such as muscular build, deep voice, and facial hair among others. Also, it fosters the production of red blood cells, strengthens bones, boosts mood, and enhances cognitive function.
I have used steroids in the past. Am I likely to have reduced testosterone levels?
Steroids are a synthetic form of testosterone. Taking steroids boosts your testosterone levels, causing effects such as increased strength and muscle mass.
Long-term use of steroids can have a profound effect on your hormonal system, leading to decreased sperm production. So if you have used steroids before, you are likely suffer from reduced testosterone levels.
I am on testosterone replacement therapy. What happens if I come off it?
Millions of men around the globe use a prescription testosterone injection known as testosterone replacement therapy, to help restore normal levels of this important male hormone. When done rightly, testosterone replacement therapy promises to make men feel more energetic, alert, sexually functional and mentally sharp.
However, it is imperative to note that testosterone replacement therapy does not cure low testosterone, which means that your symptoms are likely to return if you stop taking it.
Does this mean that I will have to be on replacement therapy my whole life?
Possibly, yes. As explained above, testosterone replacement therapy will not cure low testosterone, and this simply means that you may need to be on it your entire life because your symptoms may return if you stop taking it.
What happens when my testosterone levels are low?
Without adequate testosterone levels, men will lose their sex drive, suffer from erectile dysfunction, have a decreased sense of well-being, feel depressed, and experience difficulty concentrating. What’s more, the following physical changes will occur in your body if your low testosterone levels are low:
- A dramatic decrease in muscle mass, with an increase in body fat.
- Osteoporosis or fragile bones.
- A decrease in body hair.
- Changes in lipid and cholesterol levels.
- Decrease in haemoglobin, causing anaemia.
Does boosting testosterone help reduce my belly fat?
Testosterone primarily promotes muscle growth and potentially help suppress fat gain at the same time.
As a result, most testosterone-deficient men tend to gain fat more easily than their healthier counterparts. Scientifically, muscles typically burn far more calories than fat tissues. Hence, the lack of muscle puts you at risk of eating excess and storing the excess calories as fat.
Your doctor will discuss with you in detail the treatment options that is recommended for you. After which, depending on your preference, you may choose the best option that suits you.